A Talk With 'The New Yorker' Lesbian Wedding Cover Artist Gayle Kabaker
Over the years, The New Yorker, a prominent staple in the world of publication, has awed readers with not only insightful commentary and articles, but with the amazing art that is showcased on the cover. For the June 25, 2012 cover, the beautiful painting "June Brides" graced the magazine. A former intern at The Advocate, the fabulous Jeffrey Hartinger (check out his amazing blog, Generation: (WH)Y?) spoke with the artist, Gayle Kabaker, on what this means for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.
Jeffrey Hartinger: Your cover art for The New Yorker is breathtaking. As an established artist, have you ever depicted the LGBT community in your work before?
Gayle Kabaker: Thank you! Not really; but I used to do the Women’s Times covers for two years. Once, I did a February cover image of a bunch of women holding hearts. It could have been taken either way. I do a lot of women’s health and fashion.
I believe that the arts, media, and the entertainment industry has a strong role in shaping the public opinion on a variety of social movements. What do you think people will take from your creation?
Well, the reason I named it “June Brides” was so it would be open to interpretation. Maybe it's two gay women or maybe it's just two brides about to be married. Maybe it's two sisters having a double wedding, but the single bouquet kind of defines it more as a gay couple. I really was just trying to make a beautiful painting of two brides.
The goal of Generation: (WH)Y? is to showcase successful individuals to serve as a motivation for those in Generation Y. Is there one artist or other individual that primarily influenced you when you were in your 20's?
The fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez was my hero when I was in art school, in addition to Mats Gustavson. Gladys Perint Palmer was my teacher at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She came to teach towards the end of my four years there, so I would have been around 21 or 22, and her crazy, wonderful, and loose style totally inspired a small group of us students; she was a huge influence on me. I teach fashion drawing now for the online degree program at the school and she developed the class. It’s been wonderfully inspiring to me this past year.